Qalandiya, Wed 22.4.09, Afternoon

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Yvonne M., Ruthie B. (reporting), Guest:Terry( a Swedish journalist preparing a film on peace organisations in Israel); Natanya translating
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

The main problem at the moment at Qalandiya is the sweeping prohibition of passengers to remain within taxis coming from the north to Jerusalem. All the passengers have to alight and go through the checkpoint, young and old, women, and only people who are more than 50% handicapped are allowed to stay on the bus. This is very difficult for the old and for children going to school without their parents. Not to mention the time that all this takes for the "unconsidered" element of this transparent population and the pressure which ensues.

15.40 At the pedestrian lane there are many people. About 20 people before each of the 3 open turnstiles. The cages which led to the sleeves and the shed are full of people. Prisoners' families are returning from their visits.15.50 The north car lanes. The soldier as usual blares from the heights of the pillbox. It is Hamsin (a heat wave) and people are drying out in their cars. A driver of one of the vans approaches us. Last week he wanted to complain that they make people now get out of the vans and go through the checkpoint on foot. The drivers are upset and worried at this change.

16.25 Two sleeves are open and another one which allows only people with parcels to go through and there are not many of those. The lines are as usual: the cage is full and reaches the middle of the shed.

17.25  On our way to the car we saw from afar a long line at Atarot.